Gov. Sam Brownback has been bad news for the state of Kansas in 2016 but good news for opinion writers who don’t see eye to eye with him.
During the first six months of the year, tens of thousands of Star readers clicked on my online columns regarding Brownback’s actions as governor and the often-negative consequences they have had for the Sunflower State and its residents.
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Counting them down, here are links to — and lowlights of — my 10 most popular columns so far in 2016 on the governor of the great state of Kansas.
Lowlight: “Along with all of Kansas City sports fans, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was super happy Wednesday when Alex Gordon signed a new contract with the Royals. Unfortunately, Brownback took to Twitter to issue an inane comment.”
Lowlight: “Kansans are smart people. Many of them don’t forget. And that’s bad news for Gov. Sam Brownback, at least when it comes to Amazon.”
Lowlight: “To save Kansas, the destructive policies of Gov. Sam Brownback must be repealed. The course of action laid out here today is straightforward. Kansans — especially in Johnson County — need to elect a radically different Legislature in 2016.”
Lowlight: “Let this stunning news sink in: The Kansas jobs report released Friday shows the state lost another 1,900 jobs in February and now has 5,400 fewer jobs than it did one year ago. The collapse of the Kansas jobs market is more humiliating news for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.”
Lowlight: “University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self just emerged as the new face of the unfairness of Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 income tax cuts. A KCUR news story ... documents how Self and many more Kansans are legally paying no income taxes if they form LLCs that — under the law passed by the Legislature and eagerly signed by Brownback — let them get away with that.”
Lowlight: “Total tax revenues came in more than $70 million under estimates for May. I’ve looked at the numbers closely and the most crucial villain is the income tax cut that Gov. Sam Brownback pushed through in 2012. The state is now taking in a breathtaking $650 million a year less than it did just three years ago, before the income tax cuts took full effect.”
Lowlight: “Gov. Sam Brownback and his extremist Republican legislative supporters in Topeka just got hit with a massive body blow from four ex-governors of Kansas. In a shocking, bipartisan — and accurate — rebuke of Brownback, former governors Bill Graves, Mike Hayden, John Carlin and Kathleen Sebelius sent out a letter to Kansans on Friday.”
Lowlight: “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wasn’t in a good mood after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the 2015 school funding formula he supported was inequitable. Brownback reacted with this blunt tweet on Thursday, sent to 14,000 followers: ‘Kansas has among the best schools in the nation and an activist Kansas Supreme court is threatening to shut them down.’ Open the floodgates of wrath.”
Lowlight: “How’s this for chutzpah from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback? Last Wednesday, his administration announced the latest in a series of devastating budget cuts made necessary by his fiscally disastrous 2012 income tax cuts. On Thursday, Brownback sent out a letter in which he asked donors to send ‘your most generous contribution’ to ‘Brownback for Governor, Inc.’ to help him pay off 2014 campaign debts.”
And the No. 1 most popular column so far in 2016: The gang that helped Gov. Sam Brownback wreck Kansas
Lowlight: “Gov. Sam Brownback has had plenty of help in turning Kansas into a national punch line the last few years. Brownback’s delusions about his budget-destroying income tax cuts, his imperious approach to governing and his dismissive attitude toward poor people have damaged the future of the Sunflower State.”